- Published: 11 October 2018 11 October 2018
GE Renewable Energy has announced the availability of a new ground-based blade inspection system, combining thermal imaging technology and wide-band acoustic spectral analysis to detect anomalies on blades across an entire wind fleet, including both GE and non-GE turbines.
Staged at the base of a wind turbine, the inspection technology takes a series of recordings of the blades as they are turning and under active load. This produces a real-time view of the subsurface health of a blade, layered with digital image analytic capabilities that read and detect a wide range of anomalies. Additionally, certain blade anomalies under rotation produce a distinct sound, which the system detects and analyses to pinpoint the specific location of the anomaly. On average, the inspection time per unit is under 15 minutes.
The system can detect a range of defects harmful to blade function including fatigue cracks, fiber waves, delamination, bonding issues, breaking or missing adhesive joints, splits and defective repairs. As the images are gathered, a combination of artificial intelligence algorithms and expertise in physical models/turbine engineering help teams conduct an analysis of the overall health of the blades. This service is currently available through GE Renewable Energy Services in the North American region and will be extended to other regions in the coming months.